The Aragon Network, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that wants to act as a container and a digital jurisdiction for other decentralized organizations, is selling a number of Aragon Network Tokens (ANTs) to the public, starting later today on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Aragon Network wants to offer everything that is needed to create and run a company on Ethereum in one customizable package, including cap table, governance, arbitration, fundraising, payroll, accounting, and bylaws. The ANT token will be used to govern every single aspect of its functioning of the Aragon Network.
Aragon founders, programmers Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo, believe that the blockchain and the Internet are changing the incentives for companies to exist, and want to build tools for the next generation of companies that will take advantage of these changes. Cuende and Izquierdo were inspired by the paper “The Nature of the Firm,” by Ronald Coase, who received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1991. Coase’s ideas have been elaborated upon in the 2002 paper “Coase’s Penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm,” by Yochai Benkler.
Benkler’s paper, which is also mentioned as an inspiration for Aragon’s concept, argues that peer production has a systematic advantage over markets and firms in matching the best available human capital to the best available information inputs in order to create information products. “For firms, the emergence of peer production may require a more aggressive move from information product-based business models to information-embedding material products and service-based business models,” said Benkler.
Aragon wants to empower everyone, anywhere, to create blockchain-based DAOs oriented to peer production.
“While Aragon will enable Silicon Valley-like startups to operate in a much more efficient way, it also invites people to the New World Economy that right now cannot participate,” said Cuende. “It allows someone in a depressed region of the world to compete with the hottest startup founded by Stanford grads.”
“We are not creating Aragon just to make business more efficient, we are creating it to allow everyone in the world to create value. Because decentralization can make most unjustified power disappear.”
In another post, Cuende explained that the Aragon Network will be the first DAO that acts as a digital jurisdiction and provides key services to Aragon organizations.
“The Aragon Network will let organizations subscribe to it and use the services it’ll provide,” said Cuende. “It’ll have a built-in governance system – by using the Aragon Network Token, ANT holders will be able to decide every aspect of its functioning.”
Izquierdo explained that, since the Aragon Network is not yet deployed, the first ANT token sales will be conducted by a temporary, non-profit organization in Estonia, called Aragon MTU, which will act as a legal placeholder until the Aragon Network is deployed and takes over its functions. In the meantime, Aragon MTU will store and allocate capital from ANT token sales to fund Aragon development.
A forthcoming software release will deploy the first Aragon Core organizations to the Ethereum blockchain and allow them to hold, exchange, and transact with ERC20 tokens. If everything goes according to plan, the Aragon Network will be deployed starting around May 2018, and existing Aragon Core organizations will be invited to join.
Picture from Pixabay.